DE NIRO STARTED OUT FLOGGING CARS AND STALLONE FAILED TO MUG WOODY ALLEN…

So Lord 13 has set his heart on becoming a professional actor. Why? Because his media teacher approached him last year and invited him to be DOP on a film production he was putting together. Then, as they were getting on the bus to the location shoot in Albany, the actor playing ‘Ben’ revealed he didn’t have his permission slip. The teacher pointed to Lord 13, and asked “Can you learn the lines on the bus?”……

Participants and parents saw the rough cut at a premiere event at the school late last year, but the finished cut has now been uploaded to the Baldivis Film Academy youtube site. We actually had to intervene to stop them all working out ways to fly Lord 13 back down to Perth during term to return in the sequel……

THE LAW DONE PROPERLY

One one occasion, back when I was but a small boy, my mother allowed me to take some pocket money and hit up the newsagent’s at the Big Shops and get me a comic book.

By age 8, I was already a firm, and lifelong, fan of a number of comic book characters: Iron Man, Daredevil, Doctor Strange, Green Lantern, The Flash (yeah, the last 10 years have been pretty frigging good…). Suicide Squad, Doom Patrol, Swamp Thing, and Batman lay in my future. Etrigan, the Defenders, Guardians of the Galaxy (the originals, damn it), the Uncanny X-Men: all still to come. Sandman, Hellblazer, The Crow, Shade the Changing Man: many years hence.

And then there was the pulpy, multi-coloured, wild and woolly piece of British insanity I picked out and took home with me. Ye Gods. I’d never seen anything like it. Lurid, helter-skelter madness oozing out of every page. I was smitten. I was entranced. I was in another world.

My Mum read three pages, and threw it in the bin.

2000AD. Oh, what a joy. What a frabjous, incendiary, utterly British slice of lunacy. I’ve been a lover ever since.

To whit: Judge Dredd. The signature character. Not necessarily the best, but the most 2000AD of all the characters presented over the many years of the comics’ run. To date, there have been 2 filmic treatments: a ludicrous, and rightly derided, Sylvester Stallone thudder in 1995, that manages to include all the necessary ingredients and get them all hopelessly wrong; and a 2012 starrer for the chronically-limited Karl Urban that was long on the ultra-violence, and short on everything else that makes the character special.

Which makes the fan film Judge Minty all the more extraordinary. Fan films are a special kind of rabbit hole: produced with all the love and care in the world, many of them are victims of the lack of resources, knowledge, and (at times) talent that reinforce all the negative stereotypes that abound when we see the words “fan production”.

Not this. It has a few moments where the ambition outstrips the production, but it is a superb Judge story, and far better than the two mega-budget films that proceed it. It’s superb.

 

And if that’s not enough, the same production team has just released a new film. Search/Destroy features one of my all time favourite characters, and worlds: Johnny Alpha, the Strontium Dog. I’ve been waiting for an SD movie for as long as I waited for all the Marvel and DC films and TV that are currently overwhelming the Universe. If there is to be a new wave of comic book movies, let the Judge Minty crew lead the way. I want more.

I’m in love.

 

 

 

PREDATORS…

…is actually 2/3 of a really good monster movie, much to my surprise: genuinely creepy, and with a good build-up of suspense, not to mention a movie-stealing performance of much fun by Laurence Fishburne, and a performance from Topher Grace that suggests he’s finally ready to hold a big-screen audience. I went along with my ever-eager Teen Twosome, expecting to be there only because I was having a night out with my boys, and found myself actually having a whale of a time.

Yes, it’s a pity it runs out of ideas and resorts to big lashings of dumb to get the job done, but until it does, it’s better than all bar the original movie in the franchise. Not that that’s saying much, but, still, get it out when it hits the DVD stores and pair it with Arnie’s Big Boy Gunfest first version for a fun boy’s night in.

A CONGREGATION OF CANTLETS

1. I’m sick, Connor is sick, we go to the doctor’s for a checkup. It’s sniffles and running noses all round, so it’s bound to be just a cold, but Connor’s got a chesty cough and I need the sick note for work, so we find our nearest medical centre and make an appointment.

This is our first visit to a doctor in Mandurah, so Connor receives The Talk before we go. Once there we’re called up; enter the doctor’s room, and the doctor, who is the kind that keeps a big plastic tub of his jelly beans on his desk, turns to Connor first. After the usual “What’s your name? And how old are you?” pleasantries, and assurances that no needles will be utilized (Connor’s current doctor fear); he asks Connor what’s wrong with him.

“I have Spine Flu!” is my son’s cheery reply.

He earns three jelly beans for that one.

2. I’ve written the beginning of the novel. I’ve written the end. I’ve written 80 000 words of the middle. It’s just the remaining 20 000 words of holes that I’m having trouble with. Between work, overtime, the house, my family and my own natural inclinations I just can’t get it together to make a concerted effort at finishing it off. It’s enough to prove that I’ll never be successfully serious (or vice versa) as a novelist. I’d be less worried if I was any good at my job. Meanwhile, those whose career arcs roughly parallel my own sail into book deals with Orbit, Harper Collins and the like…

3. My third period of mentorship for the AHWA is drawing to a close, and third time is likely to be the last. Much as I enjoy it, I’m unsatisfied by my efforts this time round—disruptions have been plentiful, and I don’t feel like I’ve given my mentees value for money. I do what I can, but am beginning to think that what I can do isn’t enough any more. It’s time to take stock of what I want to do, and what I need to do, and put one before the other.

4. I’d be able to get medication if I could translate all this ennui into full-blown depression, but it seems like too much hard work.

5. Every time I think I should just chuck it all in and become a professional poker player I go online and some bugger beats me with something like a 7-3 off suit.

6. We finally get around to watching the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still. It’s enjoyable, for the most part, although I’m of the opinion that it starts fantastically well and then gets more and more ordinary as it progresses. Late that night, Lyn and I lie in bed together and dissect the movie, and I’m struck by an experience I’ve not had to such an extent since Independence Day—that of thoroughly enjoying a movie whilst watching it but then discussing it afterwards to the point of considering it a failure. It’s a strange experience, to persuade oneself of an opposing viewpoint after the direct experience. We are agreed, however, that Keanu Reeves has found his niche over the last decade or so. As Lyn said, after the Matrix movies, Constantine, and the terminally tedious A Scanner Darkly, she can’t think of another actor as suited to effectively playing characters so utterly removed from even the most basic of human emotions.

7. No such trouble earlier in the day, when we watched Igor with the kids—that one stayed ordinary all the way through…

8. If Captain Beefheart, Captain Sensible, and the Captain from Captain & Tennille were all on the same ship, how would they decide who got to steer?

HOW TO LOSE FANS AND IRRITATE MOVIE GOERS

So Lyn and I got out to see a flick today. And because we’re Simon Pegg fans, not to mention Jeff Bridges fans, the choice was obvious.

My word, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People is a disappointing movie. There came a point, somewhere towards the inevitable turning-the-plot-for-home moment, when I actually thought “God, I remember when Simon Pegg was funny.” I know this movie is based on a biography. I know that what I was watching was, by and large, supposed to be based on real events. But gawd all bloody mighty, did it have to be so obvious? So thuddingly unoriginal? When I know the outcome of each scene, each character arc, each subplot, before the setup of each damn thing even gets underway…… and it was billed as a comedy, it was promoted as a comedy, it said ‘funny’ on the posters…. It isn’t. It just really, really isn’t.

Simon Pegg and Jeff Bridges are both excellent actors, but watching this movie, you wouldn’t know it. Okay, so Bridges paid his rent in Iron Man. I wasn’t expecting Shakespeare. And okay, Pegg did a director mate a favour and plodded his way through the utterly second rate Run, Fatboy Run. But what’s their excuse for this one? Add Kirsten Dunst, who extends her ouvre as an actress of no special interest whatsoever, and the whole thing felt like what my mother used to call a Tuesday Movie– Tuesday afternoons, half-price for pensioners, beats being at home but not by much.

In all honesty, I got more laughs from the trailer for Four Holidays, And that’s a Vince Vaughan movie……

EVENING THE LEDGER

BATTERSBY EATS SOME HUMBLE PIE

Yes, yes, okay: so we saw The Dark Knight during the week. And yes, even though Heath Ledger has been firmly ensconced, high on my Kurt Rusell Memorial List of What The Fuck’s The Fuss All About Over This Two Rate Hack? for several years, I admit, in public:

He’s pretty bloody amazing in this one.

Truth is, as a superhero movie, TDK isn’t all that good. That’s not to say it isn’t a good movie– it is. It’s a fascinating, multi-layered, quite literary examination of duality, of what it means to wear a mask in both public and private roles, and how the assumption of moral sets defines the way we interact with the society around us. Batbruce is a person playing two roles, both false, both dependant upon the other. The Joker is not only the antithesis of everything Old Pointy Ears stands for, he is the antithesis of all that Wayne holds dear as well– eschewing money, eschewing position, and power, setting his stock not on the preservation of social hierarchies but on their destruction. (Could Batman exists without Wayne’s priviledged place in life? I doubt it.)

Ledger is hypnotic, by far the edgiest and sanest character in the movie, a twitching, self-destructive Tyler Durden figure that almost, almost seduces you into his nihilistic point of view. Indeed, it would have been very easy for the creators to paint him as the good guy of the piece– a few less pointless killings, a better choice of targets (swap hospitals for missile sites, clean-cut District Attorneys for slum lords……). The Joker has an advantage that villians in comic books always possess: he is proactive, whereas Wayne, Dent, and Gordon, (the status quo-reinforcing elements) must wait, and can only act in a reactive capacity. The Joker sets the agenda, creates the milieu, and has the greater capacity to alter the perceptions of the viewer– if what he does works, then the status quo is damaged irreparably– Tyler Durden wins in the end, after all, and despite the carnage along the way, creates a world without debt burden, leading the viewer to accept his message as a positive one. The Joker wipes out millions of dollars of illegal assets, destroys several powerful crime families, and almost ruins a dangerous vigilante with enough power and influence to break international judicial agreements and suffer not even a raised eyebrow in consequence. It’s only because he chooses civilian targets, and because the law enforcement system considers Batman too powerful to abandon (not too right, mind, just too effective), that he must be sacrificed in order to preserve the current balance of power.

And Ledger nails it. I’ll admit it: he absolutely nails it. This is no laughing looney, no Clown Prince of Crime. He ain’t Jack Nicholson’s cringingly awful fatboy clown. He’s an urban terrorist: intelligent, amoral, aware of the street value accorded those who don’t blink. He’s Anarky, stripped down and painted black, and Ledger is brilliant.

It’s the role that will define him, in the same way Brandon Lee will always be The Crow, and James Dean will always be the Rebel Without a Cause. Because, for the first and last time in his truncated career, he stripped away the staginess and uncomfortable posings of his performance and spoke directly to the truth of his character. It’s ugly, and distrubing, and utterly mesmerising.

OH, IT’S GOING TO HURT TO SAY THIS

Okay, I’m as prepared as I’m going to be. Let’s get this over with. Kung Fu Panda…… urgh, aaaggghh…. for a….. movie…..ooomph…. with Jack….. aaaargggghhhh…. Jack Black….. oh, go, oh it hurts…… Jack Black in it……. ooohhhh, aaahhhh…….. doesn’t…… oh my goddd……. doesn’t suck.

There……… I said it. Can I go now?

JUST DIE, ALREADY

Some months ago, when it came out on DVD, we rented and watched Rocky Balboa. Whilst it’ll never be regarded as great cinema, it was at least a fitting end to the franchise, emphasising the ‘little tailor’ aspect of Balboa’s character and making allowances for time, age, and a certain amount of nostalgia, not only in Stallone’s portrayal of Rocky, but in the central message that, whilst age may weary a man, it can give him the wisdom to accept that the battles most worth winning are those closest to the heart. Amidst the formula there was warmth, and dignity, and even a little grace. Not great cinema, no, but as the credits rolled, there was no small satisfaction in the journey’s end.

Tonight, we watched John Rambo, the latest and last of the Rambo series of movies.

John Rambo is shit.

BEOWULF VS A TALKING BEAR

Beowulf 3D– Violent, clunky, beautifully animated, and glorious. Sure, there are weaknesses in script and execution: the scenes of people on horseback were clumsy, and what the hell was with a naked Dark Ages daemoness wearing high heels? But overall, this was supercharged, involving, and very human, and felt more epic than any movie I’ve seen since the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The best dragon in movie history was simply an added bonus.

The Golden Compass– What a fucking yawn. As if basing a large part of the film around Nicole Kidman, easily the coldest and most uninvolving actress of the modern generation, wasn’t bad enough, the rest of the film is so badly paced and woodenly acted that I stopped caring before the adventure had even begun. With a lead actress so bad she should have played the lead in a Harry Potter movie, and an ending so cynically paving the way for a sequel, I left the cinema not knowing whether to be thankful it was over or furious that I’d been so brazenly mugged. The bears, at least, were cool.

The verdict: Beowulf rips the bear’s front arm off and rams it right up its ass with two minutes to go in the second round. Winner by knockout.

WHY I LOVE FLYING

Now, it’s well known that Luscious has a phobia about flying. It’s probably less well known that I’m as eager about it as a private school student with a trip to see Nursie and a bowl of warm vaseline. I loves it, I tells ‘ee, I bloody loves it.

I mean, come on! On Sunday night, interrupted only by an attractive woman who gave me a warm meal with a cool drink and a chocolate bar and who then did the dishes for me, I: read several stories from the Ray Vukcevich collection Meet Me In The Moon Room and discovered another author I would kill to write like; saw a movie; watched Stephen Fry drop Parky to the floor in hysterics; wrote an entire short story; ate; drank; did I mention the chocolate?; had a nap; and performed one of my favourite solo acts, that I’ve not had the opportunity to do in some years- listened to several hours of music, in the dark, with my eyes closed with no fear of interruption.

What’s not to love?

LABYRINTH OF THE FAUN

Saw Pan’s Labyrinth whilst in Brisbane. It’s a slow movie, and for much of the first two-thirds of the film seems slow without great reason to be so. Then the screws tighten, and it slides towards so many terrible consequences with inexorable momentum that you find yourself appalled and invested in equal quantities.

It’s a remarkable achievement: layered, complex, and deeply tragic. I fell in love with it a little bit, I think.

As my pal Ben Maulbeck said afterwards: all that, and Franco still ruled for 40 years.

….AND IT’S GOODNIGHT FROM HIM

All right, that’s all for now. A smattering of falderal to finish–

I’ve been contatced by Producer Matt, who wants me to work on a third draft of the movie. This is a good thing: he likes where I’m taking it and has a screed of notes to help me thicken the world behind the plot. I should have it all done by mid-late February. If this movie doesn’t get made, I may have to climb a water tower….

I’ve received a swathe of good advice regarding the selling of Napoleone’s Land, and I’ll be pushing hard to turn this excellent (in my humble opinion 🙂 ) manuscript into a sold novel over the next few months. My deepest thanks to Kate Eltham, Gavin Grant, and Kelly Link for the wisdom.

I anticipate having two new stories in envelopes by the end of next week, and half a dozen out by the end of February. After a lean 2006, I have sloughed the majority of distractions from my eyes, and am prepapring for a significant change in my work habits across 2007. My second novel, The Corpse Rat King, should crest the halfway point by end of February as well, which will make me a happy writer.

I’ve read over 50 stories already this year, counting the 17 I read from my Clarion students. The Batterslog has been updated. No novels as yet: I might remedy that after I finish the collection I’m currently reading. Of course, maybe I should shove graphic novels under that heading. That’ll fill it out pretty quickly 🙂

Back to school for Aiden tomorrow. Think pitying thoughts at about 8.30 Perth time. Erin starts pre-primary on Thursday, and due to a happy confluence of tween-jobbyness, I’ll be able to take her for her first day. Tune into the mentosphere and feel my happiness 🙂

Erin’s first tooth fell out while I was in Brisbane. Apparently, the tooth fairy pays $2.50 at Nanna’s house! She’ll be taking a significant pay cut if she ever flies around here, I can tell you….

The Chronicles of Riddick is a piece of shit. But such a fun piece of shit.

Dinosaurs and Satan. Who could ask for more?

I have no words to tell you how wrong this is. It’s so very, very wrong. I laughed so much I was in pain.

GALLOPING ALONG IN INCHES

Managed another 895 words on The Corpse-Rat King tonight, despite the interruptions from trick-or-treating kids. I’m almost at the 10 000 word mark, which is when it really will feel like a novel project to me: after that, there’s no turning back. With the kids in bed, and Aiden out t-o-ting with friends, it was easy to get lost in the action and get some momentum going: I’ve found a whole new scene just waiting for me to get to the right point before it introduced itself and waylaid my plot. It’s going to be fun to write: my hero Marius and I are both in the dark about how to get through it, so we’ll be discovering the solution together, which I always find fun. That, however, is tomorrow night. Unlike Marius, I have a day at work tomorrow in which to day dream 🙂

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9,628 / 90,000
(9.0%)

On a completely different subject, just how cool was Time Team tonight? An entire medieval Scottish city! One of these days I’m going to invent a time machine, go back to 1983, and kick my High School Guidance Counsellor right in her fat arse…..

CHILDREN OF MEN

Went to see it today. No review or spoilers, simply: the best SF film I have seen in years, and whilst it had its flaws and was a little slow in parts, it’s been a long time since I’ve watched an SF movie with such intelligence. Almost makes having to sit through Serenity last week worthwhile….

OOOOOHHHHH, BOOGIE BOOGIE BOOGIE…..

Aiden’s just arrived home from his trick or treating expedition, with a bag full of booty and a raging sugar-induced thirst. From which I gather he enjoyed himself 🙂

So, to commemorate his night out, and pat myself on the back for my Jack Pierce-like efforts, this is what we sent out into the streets tonight:

BEFORE:

A normal, every day boy, well adjusted and unaware of the terrible transformation that awaits him….

AFTER:

Oh My God, the horror! the horrroooorrrrr!!!!!!!!!

And yes, I know what order I put them in. But just picture Aiden’s reaction when he comes in and reads this 🙂

Song of the moment: Absolute Beginners David Bowie
Reading: On Writing Stephen King. Just recharging the motivational batteries.

THE DUHHVINCHOI CODE…

…was okay. Nothing special. Sort of a better version of National Treasure, with only having to endure Pasty face Hanks instead of Cigar Store Indian Cage. McKellen and Bettany were great, as was Jurgen Prochnow in a small role (and it’s been a while since I’ve seen him be good). Alfred Molina made the most of a part that seemed to involve nothing more than settling his face onto its haunches and looking at people from under his eyebrows. Everyone else sleepwalked, and I’ve always had a problem with plots based around the idea that the best place to hide something earth-shattering is where anybody could find it. The fact that the two big twists were blindingly obvious from the carpark wasn’t much of a help, either, but then, we’re dealing with the director who made astronauts almost missing the Earth boring, and the screenwriter who gave us Lost in Space, so I should be thankful I didn’t want to kill myself.

One thing I didn’t come away with was an understanding of why everybody in the SF genre seems to hate it so much, unless it’s because we didn’t write it first. It seems exactly the sort of thing many of us would write, had we come up with the idea.

Mind you, that’s only from watching the movie. I haven’t read the book. And, you know, if you manage to bollix up the date of an X-Men screening and still want to go see a movie, there are worse ways to spend your time. I saw a preview for a new Adam Sandler movie, for example…

STUPID IS……

Getting the Swancon screening date wrong by a week, and having to ring your brother up and explain.

On the other hand, standing in an empty foyer wondering where the hell everyone else is would have been ooooooooh just a tad stupider. Thanx for the heads up Mynxii.

Ah well: might head off to see if Ian McKellen and Paul Bettany can save The DuhhhhhVinchoi Code from the ham-fisted tag team of Howard & Hanks instead.

ONE READING, WITH HATE MAIL

I’m forced into a position I hate. I have to write a complaint letter. Not about a faulty product (and the makers of the sonic screwdriver I bought at Swancon, I’ll be getting to you shortly…) but to the KSP, an institution I am very fond of, and with whom I’ve been in a relationship of mutual benefit for a few years now.

Because the woman who runs a writing group I attended for almost 2 years took exception to some of the contents of my collection, and instead of speaking to me directly, wrote 2 pages of what I can only call hate mail, handed it to Lyn, said “See Lee gets this.” and disappeared into the sunset.

No return address. No way to engage in a dialogue. Just sputum and bile, leaving Lyn and I feeling attacked and unwelcome at an event to which we give a lot of attention and care.

Now, I’m not exactly a delicate little wallflower, here. I’m not so blind as to be surprised if I offend somebody, or if what I write hurts or causes a negative reaction. What I write is often very dark (and not just the fiction: it’s the afterwords that caused the offence on this occasion), and I am aware that I have a personality which is large, loud, and generally uncompromising. I’ve received hate mail from my own relatiuves, fer Pete’s sake. And I’ve had friends call me obnoxious, and ask that I change my personality or they’ll refuse to hang around with me. It’s not like I haven’t noticed, non?

But in each of those cases I’ve had some sort of right of reply. And in each of those cases, it’s been just me, not Lyn, that’s had to bear the pointed end of the stick.

So: a letter of complaint, to a group of people I like, because one of their members is a coward, and unprofessional, and is undertaking a deliberate attempt to spoil my reputation within a body I turn to for workshop work and residencies (Oh, it’s a good letter, folks). What would you do, if somebody came into your workplace, and tried to break down the way you make a living?

Some days, to misquote the great Emo Philips, it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps in the morning…

A COFFEE, WITH A MONDEGREEN TO GO

We were lucky enough to catch up with two of our fabourite people for coffee during the week: Michelle and Adrian Bedford. As always, the conversation was warm and relaxed, but we were rewarded with a happy moment when Adrian misheard Lyn say ‘remedial massage’ and spent a fair part of the conversatiuon wondering what sort of career she was going to have in media massage.

Send your suggestions ina sealed envelope…

I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS

The kids have been with us this week, for our half of the school holidays, and goddamn, I’m loving it. I’ve been out with the boys, riding our bikes down to the beach to climb rocks and discover a whopping great treasure trove of fossilised shells and eggs (summer, hammer, chisel, oh yeah baby…). We’ve watched Godzilla movies (“We shall call the red one Baragon!!!”). We’ve made art, and framed the pictures we painted last time we were all together. We’ve picknicked and watched the kids going mad in the surf. And I’ve laughed more in the last week than I have in a long time. It’s been exactly what being a family is all about. And on Monday night it has to end.

Still, when you have photos like this, the memories really do last forever:

A pretty good definition of family

The bright side is: Aiden is with us full time now, where he was wanted to be for quite some time. And while he’s sad to leave his Dad’s house, well, if we actually undertake every plan he wants to now that he’s here, I confidently predict he should leave home by the time he’s 43…

BIG WHOPPING CONGRATULATIONS, CONFETTI, AND A FACE FULL OF CAKE

As of now, our good pal Stephanie Gunn will be a married woman. (And I’d like extra credit for never once referring to the occasion as a Shocked-Gunn wedding…)

Well done, Steph! Have one on us!

Drink, we mean…

OOOOH, BOOGIE BOOGIE

There’s been some interesting discussion on the Southern Horror mailing list regarding horror movies, and remakes thereof. So it was with interest that I settled in with Luscious and the boys to watch Blake’s movie of choice tonight: David Cronenberg’s remake of The Fly. Well, truth be told: I settled in to watch it. Lyn & the boys settled in to look at the inside of their blankets and ask me when the scary bits were over.

It’s damn good, I was happily surprised to see. The special effects and storyline stand up remarkably well twenty years later, and while Geena Davis is nothing to write home about in the acting stakes, Jeff Goldblum’s performance is hypnotic. If you’ve not seen it in a while, there are worse ways to spend a couple of hours.

HOW TO SWEAR WITHOUT ACTUALLY DOING SO

So: Seth brundle (Goldblum) opens up his bathroom cabinet to store some teeth that have just fallen out, and we see that he’s been storing his own body parts for some little time. Someone who shall remain nameless, but who was actually Blake, points to a curiously shaped nubbin of flesh and says, in a proud happy voice:

Ewwwww. It’s his first syllable of cockateil!

Mother scolds. Bonus Dad collapses in laughter. They swap. Brother spends whole time laughing his ass off…

PRIDE

As of Monday, my darling wife will return to full time studies, where she will spend the next 6 months learning to become a professional masseuse. Because she’s in the later half of her 30s, and has realised that she wants to spend her working career doing something which rewards her personally as well as just financially. It’s a brave move, and I couldn’t be prouder.

She’s come a long way over the last 3 years. When I met her she was a loving, self-sacrificing woman who automatically put herself last in every situation. Now she has a fierce streak of independence, and understands that her happiness is important to those around her, and that those who love her want to see her fulfilled. She’s always been tough, and stronger than she realised, but now she has found the self-belief that allows her to express herself and her needs.

I can’t wait to see her flourish and grow throughout this new part of her life. I’m extraordinarily proud.

WORDS AND PICTURE (or WHO’S A RIDICULOUSLY PROUD DAD, THEN?)

Ahhh, children. You just can’t predict what they’ll learn next.

Who’d have thought the darling little boy who so cutely refuses to learn to say ‘Mummy’ would so quickly seize upon ‘Shutup’ as his next word?

And, because I’m a self-indulgent dad, a picture. Because he’s beautiful, and because I can 🙂

The most beautiful little boy in the world

NEW RITUAL

Today is the second day of my full-time house husbandness (house husbandry sounds a bit wrong, somehow). My beautiful Luscious is settling into her new job, and enjoying it, thank goodness. Call me a hairy old throwback if you like. No really, go ahead. Okay, now that’s over, I’ll admit to a whole parcel of guilt over chucking in my day job to be at home while consigning her to the jobmines. It’s what she wants to do, but still, well, call me a hairy old throwback.

My biggest problem lies in believing in her writing so much that taking her away from it for 11 hours a day whilst opening up my own writing chances speaks of such overwhelming selfishness on my part that I can’t balance it against the good things that will come from the change. For which she’ll give me a slapping and a reminder when she reads this, I’m sure.

So, a lot of our routines and rituals are changing to accommodate our new working arrangement, including blogging practices. Basically, unless I have something ultra-groovy that can’t wait, I’m likely to stick to updating once a week, on Tuesday nights. The time will be better put towards housework, writing, the kids, and finding time to be together with my darling wife.

However, for the moment, this is Tuesday night, so:

GODZILLA IS KING!

Took the boys to the FTIs screening of Godzilla: Final Wars on Saturday Night. What with Perky and Chesh also in the audience, this gloriously bad fillum (non-G watchers just don’t seem to get the idea that the general level of badness is part of the enjoyment), much Double Take style fun was had. My personal favourite moment occured when an elderly farmer pointed his teeeensy little BB-type rifle at the 100 metre high Godzilla, and his 2 ft tall grandson rushed in between them to stop him shooting. I couldn’t help myself: “Just shoot over him” was audible to all. Then there was the moment Mothra entered the fray, to Blake’s cry of “Hey! Mothra’s not a bad guy!”

So there was the big G, there was Gigan, there was Mothra, King Caesar, Matrix-clad kung-fu aliens, seven or 8 other monsters I can’t recall because I was laughing too hard, and a special appearance from the US Godzilla which resulted in my new all-time favourite movie quote:

“I knew that tuna-eating monster would be no good!”

Cinema gold. Best bad movie moment since the ‘head Japanese arhcaeologist’ in King Kong Versus Godzilla informed us that, in the opinion of the scientific community, big G was the result of mating between a T-Rex and a Stegosaurus…

And I managed to keep a family tradition alive: last time we went to an FTI screening with door prizes, Aiden won a collectable Nightmare Before Christmas figurine. The time before that, Blake won an Invader Zim stubbie holder. I was left in no doubt, on the way to the cinema, of my duties as regards prize winning., Thankfully, I came through, although with both Godzilla 2000 and Weather Woman as the other prizes, it’s the only time in my life I could conceive of being slightly disappointed to win a free copy of Seven Samurai….

SWANCON 08 MEETING

The first meeting of the Swancon 33 committee happened at our place on Sunday. I don’t know what shape the final convention will take, but it won’t be a quiet journey to get there 🙂

BATTERSBY SPEAKS!

Okay, writing types! The good folks at the KSP Writer’s Centre will be hosting 2 workshops run by yours truly a couple of weeks from now. I’ll be posting reminders closer to the dates, but for your consideration, as quoted on the KSP website:

Thursday 6th April , 9.30am-11.30am Words First Writing Group. Critiquing Workshop

Writing is the art of putting the right words in the right order, to pinch a phrase from Wordsworth. Award winning short story author Lee Battersby will be taking participants through the act of editing their own work, from line level to the narrative arc, and discussing how killing the lines you love can make for a tighter, more effective work. If you are not a regular member of the group, booking is essential. Limit 18. Sponsored by the Department of Culture and the Arts. Non-Members $20 Members $3

Saturday 8th April, 1.00pm-4.00pm Want to win the SF Competition? With last year’s judges Lee and Lyn Battersby

The 2005 Judges of the KSP SF/Fantasy Competition will give advice, and answer questions, to assist aspiring entrants to the 2006 competition, pointing out the major strengths and weaknesses they observed in work submitted last year. They cannot guarantee that everyone or anyone will win the competition as a consequence of attending their workshop, but both feel that many writers may benefit from their observations and advice. Non-Members $20 Members $20

Stay tuned, because I don’t think those prices are quite right, but I shall advise once I get correct word.

EVERYTHING OLD IS, WELL, YOU KNOW…

You know my story, and my collection, Through Soft Air, right? ‘Course you do! Well, let me tell you: when I wrote the story, back in something like 2001 or 2002, every word of the thing was original, straight from the gnarly depths of my subconscious to you. Including the title. And then, whilst browsing online today, 5 years or so later, look what I found.

I’ve included the whole poem, because, well, you heathens could get a bit of culture inta ya, orright? The highlighting is mine, Consider me well and truly freaked out right now…

SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE

That happy gleam of vernal eyes,
Those locks from summer’s golden skies,
That o’er thy brow are shed;
That cheek–a kindling of the morn,
That lip–a rose-bud from the thorn,
I saw; and Fancy sped
To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air,
Of bliss that grows without a care,
And happiness that never flies–
(How can it where love never dies?) 10
Whispering of promise, where no blight
Can reach the innocent delight;
Where pity, to the mind conveyed
In pleasure, is the darkest shade
That Time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings
From his smoothly gliding wings.
What mortal form, what earthly face
Inspired the pencil, lines to trace,
And mingle colours, that should breed
Such rapture, nor want power to feed; 20
For had thy charge been idle flowers,
Fair Damsel! o’er my captive mind,
To truth and sober reason blind,
‘Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers,
The sweet illusion might have hung, for hours.
Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn,
That touchingly bespeaks thee born
Life’s daily tasks with them to share
Who, whether from their lowly bed
They rise, or rest the weary head, 30
Ponder the blessing they entreat
From Heaven, and ‘feel’ what they repeat,
While they give utterance to the prayer
That asks for daily bread.

William Wordsworth, 1828.

FEED ME, SEYMOUR.

I know some people have asked, and with Prime being a bit on the slow side to update their website, I’ve hunted down a link for those of you who can’t wait to order my book through Fantastic Planet or cadge on from me directly at Conflux. To whit:

http://www.booksurge.com/product.php3?bookID=WLDS00001-00742

Go. Buy. Read. Tell me you love me…

MEME TIME!

Been a while. Gakked from ashamel

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you

“Your Individual is a pretty disgusting, vain, lewd little bastard… By God, he has only one right guaranteed to him in Nature, and that is the right to die and stink to Heaven.”

From Short Lives: Portraits of Writers, Painters, Poets, Actors, Musicians, and Performers in Pursuit of Death by Katinka Mason

Song of the moment: 1000 Umbrellas XTC

A HOUSE FULL OF BODIES

It’s been a loud and hectic week, this past week in the Batthouse. We’ve had the Triffkids for the last week of the school holidays, and it was brilliant. Things may be loud when all 7 of us are in the one place, but the benefits of having a large family make every moment worthwhile. We didn’t do much this holidays, apart from a few activities centred around a bit of news I divulge later in the post, but the act of just hanging out with such intelligent, vibranht, enjoyable kids leaves me feeling froody.

The days after taking them to their dad’s place are always a bit low for us, but it was too good a week to hurt for long.

WHY MY WIFE HATES MY BONUS KIDS

On the other hand, I’m a bit worried about Luscious. Blakey went to a friend’s place for a party mid-week, so she let Aiden & Cassie see a movie. More to the point, she let them see Sky High. A Kuuurrrrtttt movie! And Aiden’s far too young to look at Linda Carter and have rewarding flashbacks.

It could take years for the scars to surface….

HOORAY FOR THE A-BOY

Aiden had his trophy presentation for soccer during the hols. We thought he was in with a real shot for Most Improved Player, given how far he’s come since the start of the season, but he was gazumped by (wait for it) the coach’s daughter. Now, I haven’t seen her play before this season, so I’m not suggesting that the fix was in, but I’m just going to mention that you can read all my entries about Aiden’s progress and decide for yourself whether anyone else could improve that much in the same team…

Anyway, we couldn’t be more proud of him. He loves the game, and the medal he received didn’t leave his neck from the day he got it until it was time to leave. It was a deserved reward for a young man who gave everything to playing a sport he’s grown to love, and I’m a very punch-pleased Bonus Dad. And here’s a gratuitous photo so’s I can show off 🙂

Call him, Hiddink. He’s waiting……

You know, no sooner does the A-boy take up soccer than the NSL changes its name to the A-League. Talk about your destiny!

BEST LINE OF THE HOLIDAYS (or SPOT THE DELIBERATE MISTAKE)

BLAKE (11 years old): Who’s John Lennon?
AIDEN (Much older, and more mature, ie: 12): (In mocking tones) You don’t know who John Lennon is?
BLAKE: No
AIDEN: Duuuuuuh. He sang “You’re The Voice”.

And much Coke was sprayed…..

WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE THE FOXTEL WAY

I love having so many documentary channels. The History of Science Fiction and HG Wells docos last Sunday night gave us enough excuse to invite Martin and Dr Izz over for din-dins and watching. We had a fabulous time, as we always do in their company, and I was especially pleased to learn that Isabelle is fascinated by Wells, something we share.

I find myself searching for ways to catch up with them before they depart for England at the end of the year. I’ve also decided that it’s all a clever plan on the part of Martin to increase his overseas sales– frustrated that he can sell to Australian magazines but not American or British ones (another thing we share…) he’s going to go over there, send stories back here, and they’ll count!

Cunning devil!

BUY MY UNWANTED CRAP!

This Saturday, from 10.30 to 3.30, at the Leederville Town Hall on Vinent Street, Swancon are holding a Geek Trash & Treasure as a fundraiser.

Luscious and I will be there, with the fruits of our book/comic/video cleanout. Nothing over 2 bucks, come on down!

ADVENTURES OF AN ADDICTED BOOK BUYING GUY

Luscious and the kids met me after work today, and we went into Fremantle to have a picnic and play in the park. But we needed to buy drinks, so we found a teeensy little bookstore with a coke machine….

And I found Walking with Dinosaurs: The Evidence and a hardback copy of Tales From Earthsea for ten bucks each. And we bought the drinks and left the shop inside 90 seconds of entering.

I am BOOKBUYMAN!!!!!!!!!!!

PROUD HUBBY TIME

As if it should have ever been in doubt, Luscious’ brilliant story from ASIM 17, The Memory of Breathing, has been picked up for Year’s Best Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2005.

In my humble opinion, it’s the best horror story of the year, and if it doesn’t make the Aurealis Awards short list at least, it’ll point out what a load of bollocks that particular award is. I’m an amazingly proud hisband right now, all the more because it’s so obviously a deserved recognition for a wonderful writer who has yet to hit her straps. When she does, nobody will be talking about me any more.

Of course, no one does now, but that’s not the point. Well done, my darling. You deserve it.

ON THE ROAD AGAIIIIINNNNN……

Well, here’s an announcement.

We’re moving.

The house is on the market, there’s a sign out the front, we’re leaving exotic Huntingdale and moving North of the River to facilitate the arrival of Aiden into our midst on a permanent basis. We’re looking at Clarkson, for any Perthites with a road map and sense of adventure. We’ve had half a dozen people through the house since Thursday, and we’ve not had an open house yet! The agent thinks that we’ll be hard done by if we don’t sell the place within 4 weeks.

It’s weird: I’ve a lot of emotional investment in this place, having bought 2 children home here, as well as my late wife Sharon and my darling Luscious. Almost all the plans I’ve made these last 5 years have involved being here, and inside 2 weeks of making the decision, half the house is packed away, and we’re one person from being out the door and never seeing the place again. I’m eager for somewhere new, excited at the thought of finding a house that Lyn and I can call ours from the very beginning, and yet there’s a tiny part of me that’ll want visiting rights. “Please, can’t I just see the patio every alternative weekend?”

On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with an appraisal that gives you a 240% profit on what you paid for the place 🙂

It was either this or a peaceful life. Pictures and advertorial as soon as I upload them.

SNIFFLES AND SNORTS AND LOTS OF HUGS

My poor darling is sick. Sicker than the job prospects of a man who organises a John Leguizamo film festival.

Lemsip and pumpkin soup and chickflick videos abound.

CASSIE AND THE PUPPET TRAIN

The good scientist advances a theory based only upon the observation of empirical evidence as presented within the frame of reference.

Which is why, until she actually met a train driver during the week, Cassie thought trains were remote controlled via the wires above them 🙂

On the other hand, my brother thought Spinal Tap were a real band for ten years……..

HOW TO SPEAK TEEN (FROM THE GENERATION THAT BROUGHT YOU MINTOX, SPUNKRAT, AND NAFF)

Teen stepdaughter word of the moment: Bomb-diggity. Rough translation: grouse, mintox, tops, spiffing, brill, um, very very good.

For those woefully out of the teenspeak loop, let me show you how it’s done.

Take a noun (bomb), follow it with an action (dig), and ad “ity”.

First stagers will soon find their conversations littered with such cool teen phrases as “nosepickity”, “luncheatity”, and “bumsmackity”. SF fans might like to make special note of such favourites as “Hulksmashity” and the ever popular “rollsixity”.

For the advanced teenspeaker, the object is to mix up the noun and vowel to produce as spectacular a visual image as possible. Try “kittensplattity”, “haircookity” and “labiastompity” out for size, and soon you’ll be as tanklickity as any other parent desperately trying to remain remotely in touch with their teenogre.

Gnarly, eh?

GROWING UP

I enrolled Erin in kindy today. Kindy! But she’s still a baby……….

She’s going to be dating a bass guitarist soon, I just know it.

THEY CALL IT RUBBER SUIT MONSTER LOOOOVVVEEEEEE……..

Lee: Hey boys, what movie do you want to watch this weekend?
Boys: Godzillaaaaaa!!!!!!

Okay, so I might love Godzilla, King of The Monsters, and Godzilla Vs King Kong, but I’m a fat hairy middle-aged nerd. Aiden and Blake are 12 and 10.

We still watched them, though. And laughed our asses off the whole time. GVKK (beats AVP, dunnit?) has to be a top 5 contender for worst movie of all time. If you haven’t watched it, I thoroughly recommend you do so. If I can persuade Grantypoos to sponsor a bad movie night at the FTI, I will get it on the bill, I promise. If nothing else, it contains my new all-time favourite bad SF moment: the eminent scientist explaining to his television audience his theory that Godzilla was the product of interbreeding between a T-Rex and a stegosaurus……. Cokespray like the fountains at Versailles!

And Planet Video have plenty more where they came from 🙂

THE DREAM IS OVER

Last game of the season on Sunday, with everything to play for, and the mighty Bassendean Juniors needing to win to make the finals.

And we lost, 2-1.

I may have cried. It was very dusty, all right?

One thing that hasn’t upset me is the attitude of Aiden. He’s not the quickest runner in the team, nor the best kick, nor the most astute player. But he loves what he’s doing, and he cares so much about playing that he’s always bitterly disappointed if he’s on the bench. Yet he is always eager to get to the game, always happy when he gets a run, and on Sunday, finished the season with his best game yet: 4 kicks, 2 great tackles, and 40 out of 60 minutes on the park. Not bad for a guy with a problem hip who’d never played the game before this season. And while he may have been the team’s least able player at the start of the season, he is by no means in that position now.

I’m very proud of him. Not for playing soccer, although I love watching him play a sport that has been a lifelong love for me. But for his attitude, his enjoyment, and his determination.

And he’s already telling me what he wants to do next season……

Song of the moment: Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead Warren Zevon

REVIEWY GOODNESS

Go here, and read a review of ASIM 17, in which the reviewer talks Luscious up like it’s going out of business. And it’s all deserved, too 🙂

AND PRESENTS TO BOOT!

A fabulous Mother’s Day yesterday. Lyn made out like a bandit: two herbal candles from Blake, a round red ornament from Aiden that was immediately dubbed “The Eye of Sauron” (and is my personal favourite), a gorgeous bath set from Cassie she made up herself out of things she knew Lyn would like, and all the kids combined to get her a 6-cup coffee plunger ( necessary!) and a 3-pack DVD set of the documentary series Empires, covering the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians.

We topped it off with lunch at Chatters, an Asian restaurant adored by Lyn and the kids, before we had to drop the children back at their father’s house.

Sometimes, the very perfection of an occasion can be what makes it terrible. Having to drop the kids off after such a wonderful day was twice as painful as normal. I can’t wait to get them back on Friday: we need a big weekend of fun, and they’re co-opted 🙂 After all, PRK‘s 30th birthday party is on Friday night, and the kids and he love each other’s company, so there’s a good start!

PAUL KIDD NEEDS TREATMENT

See? Told you so. I’d ring for the therapist myself, but I was too busy laughing my ass off.

THE MARCH TO GLORY CONTINUES

Three-two, threeeeeee-twwoooooooo…….

Take that, Kingsley. Who wants a piece of Bassendean Juniors, huh? Come on, who wants a piece of us? Huh? HUH?

Just give us the cup now and be done with it…

As an aside, one of the loveliest things about going to Aiden’s matches each week is his assertion to anyone that will listen that Connor is his lucky talisman, and that the team wins because Connor is on the sidelines. His showing off his little brother to his teammates is so damn cute!

KUNG FU HUSTLE AND BIG BROTHER

Thank God PRK bought over an insane Hong Kong film called Kung Fu Hustle to the Sunday Movie night last night, otherwise all I’d have had to entertain me was the opening episode of that piece of low vileness, Big Brother. Lyn loves it, which is the only reason I’m not stalking Dreamworld with a high-powered rifle right now. There is no lower example of the depth of human increptitude than this show. All involved should be burned at the stake so even the alien archaeologists can’t clone them.

There’s a much greater difficulty in good movie nights than bad. Everyone has a roughly similar view on what makes a movie bad, and how that can be entertaining. But what makes for a good movie, well, that’s a little more… personal. Which is why we’ve seen movies like Volcano High and Return To Oz in recent weeks, movies that leave me cold or indifferent, but which their owners love; and why movies I’d watch for pleasure, like Titus or Pi, have remained firmly shelved. One man’s meat is another’s two-hours-of-rhyming-couplets-kill-me-now

Kung Fu Hustle, on the other hand, is so deliciously bad I was in tears from beginning to end with uncontrolled laughter, as were the rest of the crew. I needed it Perky, I really did…

ONE MAN, AND VEGETABLES

We did the shopping for the vegetable co-op yesterday. Seven shares, meaning everything had to be bought in multiples of seven. Off we toddled to the Malaga Markets. Lyn had control of the pram, so I had the task of taking boxes to the checkout to pay for them.

So I’m standing there, a bloke on his own, a large box of vegetables in front of him.

Halfway through emptying said box for the checkout girl, I become aware of just how many eyes are watching…. seven broccoli… fourteen bok choi… twenty eight mushrooms… seven bunches of spring onions…. I don’t see anybody with him….

I love confusing the normals 🙂

INTERVIEW ARCHIVE

Ben Peek’s interviews have been archived by Tabula Rasa, for the amusement of alien archaeologists of the future.

Mine is here.

Luscious’ is here.

Then you can read everyone else’s 🙂

WHEN WRITERS COLLIDE

A fabulous dinner was had on Saturday night, when Martin Livings, Dr Iz, Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Angela Challis joined us for wine, apricot chicken, and double entendres. Apart from much shop talk (all but poor Iz being writers and/or editors of one stripe or another), and a bowl of chocolate mousse large enough to bathe in, the highlight for me was watching Lyn and Angela form an instant bond of friendship that had Shane and I wondering whether we were going to have to fight for who slept on the couch!

Another dinner is on the cards, and soon. I haven’t enjoyed an evening so much in a long time.

REAL LIFE (TM)

It’s been a tough couple of weeks, kids. It started when the court case hit another setback- the pre-trial conference which should have been held on the 5th of this month (meaning the whole thing would likely be over now) was pushed back to the 26th because (wait for it, you’ll love this one) the opposing lawyer forgot it was on and so didn’t tell her client. Now I could talk all day about the levels of shitbaggery involved in a stunt like that (oh, how I could talk), but after three years, all it leaves me is depressed.

Connor is teething, and hasn’t slept properly in weeks.

A relative presented me with a letter so vicious, so filled with hate and bile that the only recourse it gave me was to contact them and suggest we no longer associate. I am insecure about family as it is. Having one turn on me in such a fashion did nothing for my state of mind.

A major market rejected me, and in the next couple of days I found two friends had been accepted by that same market. Those friends are brilliant writers. But I’ve been blocked for so long, and struggling with motivation and need for writing, that the whole thing set me on my haunches. I’ve barely written a new word since January, and for someone who needs to write as much as I do, it’s like suffocating.

Some fucker snuck up to our house in the middle of the night and stole the large jade plant and pot that we keep by the front door.

Erin has been unsettled, wetting her bed on a couple of occasions, and waking up multiple times each night crying and needing attention. Coupled with Connor’s nights, neither Luscious or I have slept two consecutive hours for well over a month.

I dared not like a movie some friends liked (The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, fyi) and some of the reactions of people who did like it have had me wondering why I bother with fandom at all: I started out to be a writer, and somehow fell into fannish things along the way. Sometimes I can’t remember why.

I live in pretty much constant pain, the result of a car accident two months before Erin was born. I see a chiropractor on a regular basis, which generally does the trick. This last month, it hasn’t. Because I can only afford to visit him every three weeks, at best, it’s meant that I’ve been in a hell of a lot of pain for most of the last 4 weeks. To give you an indication: I cannot change my son’s nappy without it hurting. I cannot sit on a couch unless I am supported by the arm and back, and when I get up, it takes three separate movement to do so. I cannot sit in any other kind of chair for more than 10 minutes without pain. I saw the chiro on Friday, and experienced the first pain-free period in over a month. It lasted two days.

I’ve got an infection in my mouth and the bastard just won’t die!

So apologies to anybody who’s missed the dancing, juggling monkey-boy performances in the last little while. Lyn’s got me on a course of St John’s Wort and Ginkgo-Biloba, a natural depression remedy that doesn’t leave you feeling like a warmed-up zombie, and which has brilliant results for her when she has to deal with her own black dogs.

With any luck, normal dancing and juggling services will be resumed soon.

BECAUSE ANYONE WHO IS A SERIOUS CANDIDATE FOR POPE HAS TO BE AN ARSEHOLE OF COSMIC PROPORTIONS

http://peterdavid.malibulist.com/archives/002791.html

Benedict the Umpteenth, ppppphhhhhhh.

Wanker. Because electing right wing Germans to posts of international power has worked so well in the past…

THE PACIFIER

Sucks more than any movie has any right to suck. This film is nothing more than the end result of executive bunnies deciding that any movie with Baldy Vin in it is going to sell by the trailer load. Unfortunately, on the basis of the full house I was surrounded by (and the fact that 3 kids and a wife had managed to drag me screaming and protesting into the theatre in the first place), they’re right.

I would rather contract cancer than ever see this movie again.

ON A BRIGHTER NOTE

I wrote most of the epilogue to Nouvelle Hollande today. A small scene to finish it, and spending a few thousand words on the climax, and the thing is done!

I have a couple of agents waiting, so this is a very good thing. Also a priority.

DOES YOUR 3 YEAR OLD WATCH TOO MUCH DOCTOR WHO?

I have a foot-high model of the TARDIS on my computer desk, that the kids gave me for Brianmas. It’s been there since Brianmas. It’s not hidden behind anything.

Erin comes barrelling up to me yesterday, points dramatically at the model, and exclaims “Daddy! It’s Doctor Who’s house!”

I think she was disappointed when a teensy tiny little Tom Baker didn’t emerge to say hi.

HOW MUCH DOES SHE LOVE ME?

I am a Spike Milligan fan of the first order. I am a Spike Milligan fan to a degree that would frighten your children.

For no reason at all, Luscious presented me ith a copy of Spike Milligan: The Biography the other day.

I’ve barely climbed out of it since.

She loves me 🙂

She didn’t even wince when I played The Goon Show to the boys in the car yesterday and they decalred it the funniest thing they’ve ever been exposed to. And I have so many episodes to play them…

AIDEN AIDEN AIDEN, OY OY OY!

Aiden had his first game of soccer on the weekend. He’s not a hugely sporty kid, and while we love and support him, all we hoped for was that he didn’t hate it too much.

Dude, he can play! He’s not the quickest, and he’ll take some kicking practice, but he can play. He has an understanding of what he needs to do, and his reading of the play is really good. He’s got a soccer brain, something you can’t really teach.

And we won 4-2. And quiet little Lyn went off her face. And he set up the last goal. And he wore the Nottingham Forest top we bought him with pride during the practice session, even when surrounded by kids wearing Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Manchester United tops.

Next game’s in two weeks, and 2 weeks after that and 2 weeks after that.

We’re there with bells on. I’m just a big, fat, hairy proud soccer Bonus Dad 🙂

YOU’D BETTER WISE UP, JANET WEISS

Movie night last night. We went to Chesh & Calli’s place, so that Chesh could show off his computer-controlled home theatre set up (‘Twas cool. I know the next thing I want him to do round here…) and watched the fabulously classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I don’t know what was more fun: a room full of fans singing along to every song in the movie, word perfect, or hearing PRK and myself do tone-perfect imitations of Columbia…

In just seven days, I can make you a maaaaaaaaannnnnn.

Too much fun 🙂

Followed it up with the second episode of Dr Who, courtesy of Splanky. Tell you what: it’s pretty good, and there’s a lot revealed about happenings since the Paul McGann abortion. Shan’t issue any spoilers at all, but you’re going to enjoy this one if you’re a fan.

I LIKE CANDYYYYY

Lyn’s ex-husband won’t let her kids come to Swancon because (direct quote) “it’s full of freaks and perverts.” So it had me rolling around the floor when we were sitting in the foyer waiting on wedding Saturday, and Blake had this exchange with a pal of ours.

LAURTON: (Coming over to sit and chat). Hey kids. Are you coming to the children’s programme tomorrow?
LEE: No, Jon won’t let the kids come to Swancon. Says it’s filled with freaks and perverts.
LAURTON: Hmmph. I’m not a freak, so I guess that makes me a pervert. (Pulls out a packet of Swancon XXX sweeties and offers them to Blake) Want a lolly?
BLAKE: (Grabbing one like his life depended on it). Well, I’m not allowed to take candy from strangers, but nobody mentioned anything about perverts.

COKESPRAYYY!!!!!

ONE DOWN…

So the Pope’s dead. Good. One head of an evil and repressive bureacracy down, the rest of them to go.

MUCH EDITING. MUCH MUCH EDITING

Edited 11 of the 25 stories in The Divergence Tree today. Another 9 tomorrow and it’ll be over and I can get back to some real writing.

Lyn’s wins and subsequent attention, coupled with my own inability to get anything new down (Don’t ask me how the novel’s going, just bloody don’t, okay?) have me itching to create something new. There’s nothing more frustrating than trawling through old stuff while your contemporaries (and loved ones) are forging ahead. Never mind getting back on the horse, I’m going to have to remember where the hell the stables are.

I HAVE A NEW DICK

Received in the mail today: my DVD copy of the documentary The Gospel According To Philip K Dick. Dick’s one of my 4 writing cornerstones, along with Harlan Ellison, Alfred Bester, and Howard Waldrop. There is much restrained eagerness in my little body: 2 hours, a bottle of Diet Coke, and a notebook, that’s all I ask…

BOUQUET

A big bouquet for Eric Heideman and the crew at Tales Of The Unanticipated. TOTU reprinted Father Muerte & The Theft last year, and I had high hopes for the sequel this year.

‘Twas not to be. I received the rejection in the mail today. But get this: it was 3 pages long. 3 handwritten pages. Single spaced, no margins, and cramming two lines into the top bit where there’s that large gap with no lines. As rejections go, it’s the most complete, extensive, beyond-the-call-of-duty slip I’ve ever received.

Did I mention that there isn’t a single line in the whole thing that causes even a shadow of a sook?

Do you reckon I’ll be sending them something again this year?

ROBOTS

Sucks. It’s unfunny, derivative (large parts of the plot seem to have been lifted wholesale from A Bug’s Life, for starters), the characters are actively annoying, and the creators have spent all of 2 minutes working out how to make the world a logical extension of the robot theme. All the things that make animated features of this type, such as the above, or Monsters Inc, enjoyable are lacking in the extreme.

In other words, it sucks.

Avoid.

THE CONSEQUENCES OF BAD PARENTING

Sometimes you see something that causes you to not only doubt your ability as a parent, but brings into question the welfare of your child in such a way that you have to seriously question whether you have caused such irreparable harm that your child will be a scarred and damaged person for the rest of their lives. Sometimes, no words are adequate to describe the evil that you have visited upon an innocent mind.

Today, I heard my daughter singing along with Jona Lewie’s Stop The Cavalry.

I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

DUHHHHHHH….

See that review of Dark City in my 25 movies to watch list? Take out Rupert Everett’s name and insert Rufus Sewell, would you?

That’s what I get for typing these things up at 1 in the morning…. Thanks to Paul A. for pointing it out to me.